Ecclesiastes 6

Not Everyone Enjoys Life

6:1 Here is1 another misfortune2 that I have seen on earth,3

and it weighs4 heavily on people:5

6:2 God gives a man riches, property, and wealth

so that he lacks nothing that his heart6 desires,7

yet God does not enable8 him to enjoy9 the fruit of his labor10

instead, someone else11 enjoys12 it!13

This is fruitless and a grave misfortune.14

6:3 Even if a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years –

even if he lives a long, long time,15 but cannot enjoy his prosperity –

even if he were to live forever16

I would say, “A stillborn child17 is better off than he is!”18

6:4 Though the stillborn child19 came into the world20 for no reason21 and departed into darkness,

though its name is shrouded in darkness,22

6:5 though it never saw the light of day23 nor knew anything,24

yet it has more rest25 than that man –

6:6 if he should live a thousand years twice, yet does not enjoy his prosperity.

For both of them die!26

6:7 All of man’s labor is for nothing more than27 to fill his stomach28

yet his appetite29 is never satisfied!

6:8 So what advantage does a wise man have over a fool?30

And what advantage31 does a pauper gain by knowing how to survive?32

6:9 It is better to be content with33 what the eyes can see34

than for one’s heart always to crave more.35

This continual longing36 is futile – like37 chasing the wind.

The Futile Way Life Works

6:10 Whatever has happened was foreordained,38

and what happens to a person39 was also foreknown.

It is useless for him to argue with God about his fate

because God is more powerful than he is.40

6:11 The more one argues with words, the less he accomplishes.41

How does that benefit him?42

6:12 For no one knows what is best for a person during his life43

during the few days of his fleeting life –

for44 they pass away45 like a shadow.

Nor can anyone tell him what the future will hold for him on earth.46

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